Leonardo da Vinci will be there. And so will William Shakespeare.
Not really, but they will be represented in the form of actors who will portray them at the First Night Annapolis New Year's Eve celebration.
Sponsored by local merchants and the non-profit First Night Annapolis Inc., the New Year's Eve festival is billed as a celebration for the entire family, said Elizabeth Welch, the group's executive director.
"It's raison d'etre is to showcase the arts," Welch said. "We want to provide a celebration that's family oriented, affordable and safe."
This is the first time First Night will come to Maryland but it is not the first time for the event. It began in Boston in 1976 and has spread to more than 55 cities across the country, becoming an annual event, Welch said.
A variety of activities, from poetry readings to musical entertainment to fireworks, will be presented throughout Annapolis.
Allons Zee will be on hand to perform Cajun Zydeco music, while the Continuum Chamber Singers, an a cappella group, will perform music from the late Renaissance and early Baroque.
Also, The Next Ice Age, an ice dancing company, will perform at Dahlgren Hall at the Naval Academy. The Well-Met Productions will put on a one-act play called "The Party Crashers" written especially for First Night Annapolis. During the play, da Vinci and Shakespeare will make their "appearance."
Mary Carter Smith, Maryland's official griot, or African storyteller, will be on hand to entertain the thousands of people expected to attend, too, Welch said.
The First Night celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a special children's program featuring mime, music, and magic. All other performances will begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue until midnight when fireworks, city bells and bagpipers will help ring in the New Year.
Events are to held in the State House, schools, churches, including St. Anne's, St. Mary's Christian Science and First Presbyterian; and historic buildings, including Paca Hammond Harwood, Boordley-Randall and Chase-Lloyd houses.
Other events will be held at the Naval Academy, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the county courthouse, the main post office, and the Maryland National Bank.
All the events are alcohol-free, and outdoor events are free. An $8 First Night button will provide entry to all indoor activities throughout the city, as well as the use of shuttle buses. Free parking also will be available. Buttons may be bought at the main post office.
For more information call 266-1197.